Sea Turtle Conservation Center Navi Base

If you were unlucky and didn’t spot sea turtles on your snorkelling or diving excursion (Similan or Surin islands are the best spots), you can always visit the Sea Turtle Conservation Center in Taplamu, Lam Kaen. It’s also a great place to visit with children and to add a bit of education to the holidays.

About the Sea Turtle Conservation Centre

The Sea Turtle Conservation Center is a place where turtles are taken care of and protected from danger. It was in 1979, that Queen Sirikit started the “Queen’s Project on Sea Turtle Conservation” to promote breeding by keeping some adult turtles and supporting the hatching. They make sure the little turtles are safely returned to the sea. The older and sick turtles are rescued and cared for permanently, as they wouldn’t survive on their own. The centre is taken care of by the Royal Thai Navy and volunteers. Local schools are often invited to have excursions and fun activities at the Navy base.

Location

Where is The Sea Turtle Conservation Center? When you are in the Lam Karen area, turn left at the traffic, and drive for about 1 km until you see a small entrance arrow sign board. Drive in to the Navy checkpoint on the right side. The officers will ask you to stop and you will need to leave your passport or ID with them. Don’t worry! They will give it back when you leave the centre. So, make sure you bring one if you are planning to visit. 

Entrance fee and opening time

The Sea Turtle Conservation Centre is 2 km from the checkpoint. Once you get there, you will see a ticket counter. The entrance fee is only 60 THB per person and is used to feed the turtles every day and maintain the Conservation Center. It opens everyday from 7:00 to 16:30. 

what you will see

There are a total of nine small stations in the centre each with a shady roof and a swimming pool for the turtle. Each pool has about ten to thirty sea turtles of different ages freely swimming. The ponds are separated mainly according to age. The age ranges from a week old to years old.

As you enter through the entrance, the first ponds you will see are stations 1 and 2 of 15-day green sea turtles about the size of a plate. The oldest ones as big as a car tire are in the only station on the left side. (Pin No.20 in the map). On the right side, next to the office are small tanks where the baby turtles of a week old are placed. separately. They are not yet the best swimmers. 

There are mainly green sea turtles in the Sea Turtle Conservation Centre. You can see hawksbill, Olive Ridley and leatherback turtles in the display station. 

If you love sea turtles and you want to keep one with you all the time, you can get a sea turtle toy at the souvenir shop in front of the display station and support the centre.

Other sites in the vicinity 

Right next to the Conservation Center is the T 215 boat, a 2004 tsunami wreck, but not quite as well preserved as the famous police boat 813 in Bang Niang. Nearby, there is a pier where most island tours depart from, and the Thai Navy golf course, which is open to the public.

Police Boat T 215

Take a chill at the Sea Turtle cafe, maybe a lunch with your family, ice cream for your kids or a simple dose of coffee. 


The conservation centre covers a wide area including a sandy beach, outside playing areas and beachfront guesthouses. It costs 700 – 900 THB per night for a guesthouse. Imagine spending a night at a navy base, facing the Andaman Sea, with hundreds of sea turtles in your vicinity. What an unforgettable experience it will be.

Recommended tours

Include your visit to the Sea Turtle Conservation Center in adventurous highly-recommended tour with a well-organized tour and knowledgeable guide. Most tours to the Sea Turtle Conservation Center are child-friendly and often include a relaxing bamboo raft journey through the jungle rivers, visiting and feeding elephants, and/or a visit to a nearby waterfall. You can book one of these small-group half-day tours and be assured of an unforgettable experience!

Final words…

The Sea Turtle Conservation Center is worth a visit, but don’t expect a lot of activities to do here. It’s a great place to observe tiny and full-grown sea turtles. Children are always excited to see them!

If you would like to know more about the sea turtles in Khao Lak, check out this post: Sea Turtles in Khao Lak and Where to Meet Them.

Even though watching the sea turtles going about is a nice sight, you will likely only spend 30 minutes to an hour here. You can either book one of the recommended tours listed above, or incorporate some of the below nearby DIY activities if you are looking for something else to do after your visit.

DIY activities in the area

There are several things to do around Lam Kaen, and we will dive into each of them in later articles. For now, here is a short list:

  • Lam Ru National Park: (see on Gmaps) Lam Kaen is situated next to this beautiful national park. You can go on an adventurous jungle path along the beach. You can relax at the “secret” private small white sandy beach. There is an entrance fee for adults 200 THB, and children 100 THB. You can use the same ticket to visit other parks on the same day, such as Ton Chong Fa Waterfall and Lampi Waterfall.
  • Golfing at the Tablamu Navy Golf Course: (see on GMaps) south of Lam Kaen Beach you can swing your golf club overseeing the Andaman sea. You can also check out the more distant and luxurious Katathong Golf Resort & Spa (see on Gmaps). It is a 30-minute drive by car.
  • Ton Pling Waterfall: (see on GMaps) not even 2 km away Lam Kaen Beach is a small waterfall. It’s not the most exotic but its close proximity is worth the visit. It’s also a nice thing to do with children. You can swim at the waterfall and the entrance is free of charge.
  • Lampi Waterfall: this is a very pretty waterfall and only a 20 minutes drive by car from Lam Kaen beach. The large 3 step-waterfall is popular among locals as well. Swim with the fishes that may nibble your skin (free cleanup!). There’s a beautiful hanging bridge to cross and walk to the second level. The entrance fee is 200 THB and parking is 20 THB. You can use the ticket to visit other National Parks in the area, such as Lam Ru National Park at the Khao Lak mountain.

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